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Music Review: Shivaree – Tainted Love: Mating Calls and Fight Songs

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Yes, this is a CD of cover tunes. No, it doesn't suck.

Now that we have gotten the formalities out of the way, let's talk about Shivaree's latest disc. I have been a fan ever since Rodney Bingenheimer played "Goodnight Moon" on the two a.m. time slot KROQ stuck him in (way before Kill Bill, by the way). Since then, I have been hooked on Ambrosia Parsley's (yes that is her real name) haunting, husky-yet-childlike vocals and eclectic soundscapes.

Tainted Love: Mating Calls and Fight Songs ironically does not include a cover of "Tainted Love" by Soft Cell. It does contain covers of songs by Chuck Berry, Rich James, Motley Crue, R. Kelly, David Allan Coe, and Michael Jackson, to name a few. The Michael Jackson song, "Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough" is the only song on this disc that I am familiar with, so to me, Tainted Love is really just a Shivaree disc.

The idea behind the disc is to present a look at love, but not from a Celine Dion point-of-view. Love is seen in all its variations, from first awkward puppy love to S&M love and all the stages in between. These don't sound like love songs; in fact, most people would probably not consider them love songs. Well, they are not. They are about love, in all its beautiful and horrid ways.

Musically, the disc runs the gamut, from the smooth and sultry "Half on a Baby," to the twangy bluegrass "Shame On You," to the road song "I Wanna Be Your Driver." I love that they turned the Motley Crue song "Looks That Kill" into a sexy lounge song. And the one song I was familiar with, "Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough," went from a disco number to a tune that begs to be belly-danced to.

Don't buy this disc because you are obsessed with one of the artists covered here; you will just be disappointed. No fan ever likes a cover of their favorite song as much as the original. Buy it because it is a great, solid Shivaree disc.

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